The following letter was sent to all staff and parents on February 28, 2020 via email
February 28, 2020
Dear MTSD Parents and Guardians;
Given the extensive media coverage of the coronavirus, we want to assure our students, parents, and staff that we are diligently monitoring the situation and remain in daily contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
First and foremost, please know that there are NO reported cases of Coronavirus connected to our school district.
We are providing information to you so that you are aware of this issue, and so you are assured that our district has plans in place to monitor, prepare for, and respond to any health or safety issue that may impact us. We also encourage you to use the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health as trusted resources on the latest updates and guidance concerning this health issue.
The PA DOH recently shared guidelines for all K-12 schools. Please use information from official public health agencies as trusted sources of information, including the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Department of Public Safety. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has shared the following tips on their website to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as novel coronavirus:
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
- If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better
Naturally, it is normal to be concerned when news agencies report on trending health-related events and new types of illnesses reported can be scary. The Manheim Township School District has established and approved protocols when addressing a potentially contagious illness. Our first and foremost concern is for the health and safety of our students and staff. In addition to closely monitoring the current situation (not only the coronavirus but also this year’s strain of the flu), our Health Services Department is in daily contact with the CDC for updates, and our Plant Services Department employs vigorous cleaning techniques, which promotes the health and safety of the students and staff. Our schools are cleaned and disinfected daily as part of ongoing custodial services. During a time of potentially heightened illness, such as flu season, our staff enhances cleaning services and has plans in place to address areas in which higher incidents of illness may occur throughout that time.
For more information on the flu and the coronavirus, please click the links below:
As a reminder for any illness, in order to protect the health and welfare of our students and staff, we want to remind everyone to practice good hand-washing techniques and to follow our guidelines regarding student illness:
- Your child should be fever-free for 24 hours without medication before returning to school.
- Children with vomiting and diarrhea must be kept home for 24 hours after the last episode.
- Children with suspected infectious diseases (i.e. pink eye and any unknown rashes) should be kept home until verification from your health care provider can be obtained.
- All medication, including over the counter medications such as Tylenol, requires a doctor’s note and must be in the original container (no loose medication may be dispensed to students). Medicine must be brought to the health suite at the beginning of the school day by a parent/guardian; students are not permitted to carry medication with them. Non-FDA approved medication such as dietary supplements and essential oils will not be dispensed during the school day.
- If your child is sick, keep them home regardless of parties, field trips or other special events.
We will remain vigilant in monitoring the status of all illnesses, which could present any threat to our staff and students. Thank you for your support of our district, our schools, our staff, and students.